The 5 Best Employee Monitoring Software for 2022

Employee monitoring software - the best vendors to choose from

Hey everyone, this is Dale here. I am the Digital Marketing Manager for CurrentWare.

In today’s video, I’d like to show off the new user activity data dashboards that were introduced to BrowseReporter in version 6.0.2. 

With these dashboards, you can review the productivity levels, web browsing, application usage, and bandwidth consumption of your entire workforce from the convenience of a web browser. 

These dashboards work in tandem with BrowseReporter’s computer activity reports to provide valuable insights into how technology is used in your organization.

Today’s video is just a sneak peek of what BrowseReporter is capable of; as time goes on you can expect to see further enhancements and data points added to these dashboards.

How the Dashboards Work

To begin using the new dashboards simply select the groups or users you would like to review, then select the desired time period.

Here at the top of the Overview dashboard, you will see a comparison between the data from this period and the previous time period. This gives you a high-level glance into whether the given metrics have increased or decreased during this timeframe.

Below that, we have graphs showing the Top 5 most used websites and applications. This shows you what computer activities your users spend the most time on.

Next, you’ll see the top 5 most active and idle users or groups. 

BrowseReporter automatically switches from Active Time Tracking to Idle Time Tracking when the user stops using their keyboard or mouse for a set period of time; this threshold can be changed to fit your organization’s needs.

Dashboards for Specific Groups/Users

Let’s drill down even further by clicking on one of our groups.

In this group sub-dashboard, you can see the most productive and unproductive users in the group, along with a dedicated Activity Log. 

Likewise, if we started out looking at a specific user rather than a group we would be taken to a sub-dashboard with that specific user’s online status and computer activity data.

Activity Log For Raw User Activity Data

The activity log lets you review the raw data that is used to populate the dashboards. 

You can use the search function to find specific information, use the column men u to adjust what columns appear, and sort the data that is displayed.

What data points are available in the Activity Log will vary depending on the dashboard you’re viewing.

For example, here in the Overview dashboard, we have access to Group or usernames along with several active and idle time metrics.

In the productivity dashboard, we’d have access to the group or user name, the number of users, and various productivity metrics.

Likewise, the Activity Log of the Websites dashboard shows domain names, active time, web content categories, and the productivity categorization for the domain.

The Activity Log of the Applications dashboard shows the application name, process name, active time, and idle time.

If you’d like to use the Activity Log data in a business intelligence tool you can easily export your user activity data to an Excel spreadsheet. 

If you’d like to provide a visual copy of the Activity Log to someone else, you can use the Export to PDF function. The PDF will display the Activity Log, including hyperlinks to the sub-dashboards of the groups or users shown. 

So long as the viewer has access to an operator account with sufficient permissions they’ll be able to follow these hyperlinks to learn more about the selected user or group.

To finish things off, let’s take a look at the dashboards offered in version 6.0.2

Productivity Dashboard

Switching over to the Productivity dashboard you will see how much time was spent on productive, unproductive, and neutral web browsing. You’ll also see who the most productive and unproductive users or groups are, as well as the top 5 websites and categories. 

What is considered productive can be customized by going to BrowseReporter’s Productivity Grading window; a shortcut to this can be found in the dashboard settings. 

From here you’ll be able to specify whether a given website category or a specific domain should be labeled as productive, unproductive, or neutral.

Internet Browsing Dashboard

Moving on to the Websites dashboard you will find the total active and idle time for the selected groups or users, the top 5 websites and most active users, as well as the web browsing Activity Log.

Application Usage Dashboard

In the applications dashboard, you will find similar graphs showing how much time was spent using applications, the top 5 most used applications, the 5 users that spent the most time using applications, and the application usage Activity Log.

Bandwidth Consumption Dashboard

Finally, we have the bandwidth usage dashboard. Here you’ll be able to see who is using the most bandwidth and how much bandwidth was used each day.  

If you’d like to see what websites are responsible for anomalies in bandwidth usage you can run BrowseReporter’s Bandwidth Usage by URL report. 

This report will show you the exact websites that are consuming bandwidth; from there you can decide whether the bandwidth hogs need to be blocked with BrowseControl or if other corrective measures need to be taken.

Conclusion

Ready to boost operational efficiency, employee productivity, and endpoint security with advanced awareness and control over how your employees use technology in the workplace? 

Get started today with a FREE trial of any of our software solutions. 

Simply visit CurrentWare.com/Download to try our software for yourself or get in touch with us at CurrentWare.com/Contact.

Thank you!

Looking for software to monitor employee computer activity? This list of the best employee monitoring software for 2022 will help you pick the optimal employee monitoring solution for your business.

Employee monitoring software is for small business owners and large enterprises alike. No matter how many employees you have there is a suitable employee management software for your business.

With the details provided in this list, you will find the best employee monitoring software for tracking the productivity of your remote workforce, securing your company against insider threats, and ensuring that employee performance is optimized.

Looking for more tools? Check out our list of the best internet filters and the the best USB control software,

Ready to start monitoring now?
Get started today with free trial CurrentWare

Table of Contents

What Is Employee Monitoring Software?

Remote Employee Monitoring Software - Productivity, Security, Analytics

Employee monitoring software is software to monitor employee computer activity such as web surfing and application usage. These monitoring solutions are used by business owners use to track the computer activity of in-office and remote workers. Employers use employee monitoring software for insider threat detection, to monitor employees’ productivity, and to gain insights into how their employees work.

The best employee monitoring software gives business owners, managers, and IT staff members insights into how employees use technology in the workplace. These insights can be used to evaluate employee performance, to measure software adoption rates, as a time tracking tool for remote employees, or to analyze employee activity for high-risk or anomalous behavior.

Learn more: What is Employee Monitoring Software?

The Best Employee Monitoring Software

Now that we’ve covered what employee monitoring software is and the most important features, here are the best employee monitoring software vendors for you to evaluate. 

Each of the best employee monitoring software in this list has its own unique strengths and weaknesses such as monitoring features, cloud software and on-premises software deployment options, the ability to track work hours, employee privacy settings, or real-time user behavior analytics.

1) CurrentWare: The Best Employee Monitoring Software & Endpoint Security Suite for Windows Devices

Hello! Today I will be showing you all of the solutions available in the CurrentWare Suite. Each solution can be purchased individually for the greatest flexibility or as a bundle for the best value. 

The CurrentWare suite can monitor and manage remote, on-premises, and hybrid users, making them ideal tools for managing the productivity and security of a remote workforce.

Alright, let’s get started.

With the CurrentWare web console you can manage policies, review dashboards, and run user activity reports from the convenience of a web browser. 

Your CurrentWare solutions are installed and managed by your company either on-premises or on a virtual machine hosted by a cloud service provider of your choice, giving you full control over your data.

CurrentWare is also a Citrix-ready partner, making Windows VDI deployments simple for your organization.

The CurrentWare Suite includes:

  • AccessPatrol: Device control software 
  • BrowseControl: Internet filtering software
  • BrowseReporter: Employee computer monitoring software 
  • And enPowerManager: Remote PC power manager

Each solution allows you to apply unique policies for each group of users or computers. These policies will be enforced even when the computers are disconnected from the network.

Let’s start with AccessPatrol

With AccessPatrol you can:

  • Use the USB activity dashboards to monitor how portable storage devices and other peripherals are being used in your organization
  • Restrict a variety of peripherals including USB storage devices, phones, and Bluetooth
  • Add approved peripherals to an Allowed List
  • Get device activity reports on-demand, at a set schedule, or when specific events occur
  • And Block file transfers to USB devices based on file name or extension

With BrowseControl you can:

  • Control internet access based on URLs and content categories
  • Schedule unique allow or block lists
  • Prevent users from launching specific applications
  • And block network ports

Let’s move on to BrowseReporter

With BrowseReporter you can:

  • Use the computer activity dashboards to track metrics such as productivity, web browsing, application usage, bandwidth consumption, and active vs idle time of your entire workforce, specific groups, or specific users
  • You can generate user activity reports on-demand, at a set schedule, or when specific events occur
  • Capture screenshots of your users’ desktops
  • And schedule activity tracking to stop monitoring your users at designated off-hours times such as breaks. 

Finally, with enPowerManager you can:

  • Generate reports on computer power states and logon-logoff times
  • Start up, shut down, restart, standby, and hibernate computers on a set schedule or on-demand
  • Configure advanced power policies for mobile computers
  • And provide your end-users with a warning message before their computers shut down

If you would like to try out CurrentWare for yourself you can instantly get a free trial at CurrentWare.com/Download or book a demo with our sales team at CurrentWare.com/Sales

This video is current as of version 7.0, which was released in February 2022. For the most up-to-date information on the latest features please visit our release notes at CurrentWare.com/support/release-notes/

CurrentWare is the best employee monitoring software and security suite for windows devices. It includes remote employee internet monitoring software, device control software, web filtering software, and remote PC power management software. Each solution operates from the same central CurrentWare web console; they can be purchased separately for the most flexibility or as a full suite for the best value.

For added convenience, the web console can be configured to allow for remote access, making it one of the best employee monitoring software for managing remote workers. The user interface is simple and easy to navigate and can be accessed from mobile devices.

CurrentWare offers on-premises data storage with deployment options that support the monitoring and managing of remote workers. It can be installed transparently or in stealth mode, with the monitored employee oblivious to the software’s activities. Due to the lack of a mobile app or cross-platform support, it is best used in Windows-based environments.

With CurrentWare you can monitor employee computer activity such as web browsing and software usage, prevent employees from using unauthorized USB devices, and block access to certain apps and websites that are against your company’s standards.

When monitoring internet use, CurrentWare’s employee monitoring software BrowseReporter differentiates between idle versus active time to indicate if the employee was actually using their computer and whether or not they were actively browsing a given website; this makes it the best employee monitoring software for understanding employee activity throughout the day.

Automated email alerts can be configured to notify managers, HR, and security personnel when unwanted activities occur such as visiting inappropriate websites or transferring files to USB storage devices.

Windows 11 Update: Each module of the CurrentWare security software suite (AccessPatrol, BrowseControl, BrowseReporter, enPowerManager) is compatible with Windows 11.

Overview of Each Module

Each cybersecurity and employee monitoring software solution in the CurrentWare Suite operates from the same central CurrentWare web console; they can be purchased separately for the most flexibility or as a full suite for the best value.

BrowseReporter, the best employee monitoring software to monitor employee internet activity and app usage

BrowseReporter is a versatile computer user activity monitoring software that helps organizations enforce policies, meet compliance requirements, and understand how their users operate – no matter where they’re located.

BrowseReporter’s detailed user activity reports provide insights like…

  • Are our users following organizational policies? Are there any unwanted activities that need to be addressed?
  • How engaged are our users? Do they spend the majority of their time on-task? And…
  • Are our users making use of the software we’ve invested in? Should we reduce the number of licenses we pay for?

The computer activity data is collected by a software agent that is installed on your computers. The agent connects to a database on your organization’s network, allowing you to maintain complete control over the data.

BrowseReporter’s central console allows you to run reports on your user’s computer activities from the convenience of a web browser. 

There are dozens of reports to choose from, including…

  • User productivity reports with an overview of how much time was spent on websites that are productive, unproductive, or neutral. These classifications can be customized to match what is productive for your users.
  • There are also detailed internet activity reports that show you what websites your users have visited, how long they spent browsing each site, and the amount of bandwidth consumed.
  • And finally, the application usage reports show you what software is being used, how long it was used for, and who was using it.

BrowseReporter’s reports can be generated on-demand, on a set schedule, or automatically sent to your inbox to alert you of specific events.

Using the End-User Reports feature you can even provide your users with on-demand access to their own data. This lets them benefit from the insights that you have.

BrowseReporter can even be deployed with optional privacy-enhancing features.

You can…

  • Display a custom message to notify users that they are being monitored
  • Make the client visible in the system tray
  • Stop monitoring outside of standard operating hours, and…
  • Disable certain types of tracking altogether 

These optional features allow you to customize your BrowseReporter deployment to fit the needs of your organization.

BrowseReporter is best used in tandem with our web filtering software BrowseControl. Using both solutions provides you with the visibility and control you need to ensure that your organization’s computers are being used appropriately

Ready to make data-informed decisions? Get actionable insights into the activity of your users with a free trial of BrowseReporter.

Get started today by visiting CurrentWare.com/Download

If you have any questions during your evaluation our technical support team is available to help you over a phone call, live chat, or email.

Thank you!

BrowseReporter is the best employee monitoring software for tracking employee computer activity. It is the ideal tool for enforcing acceptable use policies and protecting your network against unwanted computer activities. 

BrowseReporter captures the websites your employees visit and the applications they use. It includes a reporting utility for generating tabular and graphical user activity reports as well as a dashboard with real-time monitoring data.

It also provides screenshot monitoring features that allow you to record multiple screen displays when specific apps or websites are visited. These high-resolution and compressed screenshots can be automatically deleted after a set period of time to help you manage your storage and data retention requirements.

BrowseReporter’s employee productivity reports compare the time that employees spend on websites that are productive vs those that are not. These classifications come pre-configured and can be customized to better fit what is considered productive for your organization.

AccessPatrol, the best employee monitoring software for data loss prevention

Hey everyone, this is Dale here. I am the Digital Marketing Manager for CurrentWare.

In today’s video, I’d like to show off the new USB activity dashboards introduced to AccessPatrol in version 7.0.

These dashboards provide a convenient overview of the peripheral device usage of your entire workforce as well as specific groups or users—all from the convenience of a web browser.

They work in tandem with AccessPatrol’s device control features and USB activity reports to protect sensitive data against the security risks of portable storage devices.

Today’s video is just a sneak peek of what AccessPatrol is capable of; as time goes on you can expect to see further enhancements and data points added to these dashboards.

At this time, AccessPatrol can track activities from the following peripherals:

  1. Portable storage devices such as USB flash drives, external hard drives, optical discs, tape drives, and SD cards
  2. and Mobile devices including smartphones, PDAs, and tablets

This device usage data is used to populate various graphs across AccessPatrol’s dashboards. You can further refine how granular this data is by limiting the time frame, selecting only specific groups, and even investigating individual users.

Having these metrics available at a glance makes detecting potential insider threats far more efficient as your organization scales. 

Any groups or users that need to be reviewed further can be investigated using the more granular dashboards and AccessPatrol’s device activity reports.

For a more proactive approach to insider threat management you can set up targeted alerts that will notify designated staff members when these high-risk activities occur. 

For the most up-to-date information on AccessPatrol’s activity tracking and data loss prevention capabilities, visit our knowledge base at CurrentWare.com/Support or visit the AccessPatrol product page at CurrentWare.com/AccessPatrol

 In the overview dashboard you can review the following metrics:

  • File Operations that happened over the selected time period, including the number of files that have been copied/created, the number of files that have been deleted, and the number of files that have been renamed/saved as.
  • Overall Device Activities, with a breakdown of how many of the peripherals were authorized and how many were blocked from use.
  • The Top 5 File Types graph shows the most common file types that are copied/created or deleted to and from portable storage devices
  • The Top 5 Device Types graph shows the most common classes of peripheral devices that are blocked and allowed
  • The Top 5 Files Operations graph shows which groups or users have the greatest number of files that have been Copied/Created and Deleted to and from portable storage devices
  • The Top 5 Devices Activities graph shows which groups or users have the greatest number of Blocked and Allowed devices.
  • And finally, The Activity Log provides access to the raw data, with controls to show and hide certain columns, filter and sort data, conduct searches, and export the data to an Excel spreadsheet or PDF. Each dashboard has their own Activity Log with columns that are relevant to that specific dashboard.

Moving on to the Files Dashboard you will see…

  • A timeline of file operations that shows the relationship between the various operations over the course of the selected time period. This can be used to search for patterns in anomalous device usage, such as peaks in file transfers outside of regular operating hours.
  • You will also see graphs with the Top File Types Copied/Created to internal hard drives and external devices
  • Below that, we have graphs that show the users or groups that have Copied/Created or Deleted the most files
  • And, just like the overview dashboard, there is an Activity Log with the raw data.

Finally, we have the Devices Dashboard

In this dashboard, we have…

  • A device activities graph that shows a timeline with the number of allowed and blocked devices each day. This can be further refined to show an hourly breakdown of a specific day so you can find out what time your users were attempting to use blocked devices. 
  • Next, we have graphs with the users or groups that have the most allowed and blocked devices activity over the selected time period. 
  • Scrolling down to the Activity Log, we can use the sorting controls to take a closer look at the users that have been attempting to use unauthorized peripherals.

As you can see, we have specific users that are repeatedly trying to use devices that have not been approved for use by the organization.

While this could just be an accidental oversight on the user’s part, there’s a risk that it’s something much more serious. 

For example, what if this is actually a disgruntled employee trying to steal trade secrets or sensitive customer data so they can bring it to a competitor, or worse, sell it to cybercriminals on the dark web.

Between the costs associated with a damaged reputation, fines, loss of competitive advantage, and remediation, a data breach like this could completely ruin a company.

Before we confront this employee or send them for retraining, let’s investigate this incident further so we can make an informed decision.

Clicking on this user, we’ll be taken to a dashboard that focuses exclusively on their activity. 

Looking at the Devices graph we can see that they have made multiple attempts to use blocked devices. 

Scrolling down, we can see that they’ve been trying to use unauthorized portable storage devices.

Since AccessPatrol is currently blocking any devices that are not explicitly allowed, I know that the only way sensitive data is leaving through a USB drive is if it’s a device that we’ve allowed before. So, let’s take a closer look at how they’ve been using their approved devices.

As you can see here, the types of files that they are transferring are more than capable of containing sensitive data; let’s take a look at the file names for more details.

With the Activity Log we can use the filters, sorting, and column options to isolate our view to the entries we’re the most interested in. 

Once we find something that looks off, we have more than enough information to confront this employee and take any necessary corrective actions.

Ready to protect your sensitive data against theft to USB portable storage devices? Block and monitor peripheral device usage today with a free trial of AccessPatrol, CurrentWare’s USB control software.

Simply visit CurrentWare.com/Download to get started instantly, or get in touch with us at CurrentWare.com/Contact to book a demo with one of our team members. See you next time!

AccessPatrol is a device control and data loss prevention software that provides a proactive solution to prevent employees from stealing data with portable storage devices.

AccessPatrol includes a variety of USB data loss prevention features to prevent data leaks. These features help prevent the use of unauthorized peripheral devices including USBs, CD/DVDs, BlueTooth, WiFi, FireWire, iPods, and MP3s. Granular device control policies can be customized for each user, department, or organizational unit.

Company-authorized peripheral devices can be added to an allow list and temporary access codes can be generated by administrators to bypass restrictions in special circumstances. This provides companies with the means to monitor and restrict USB device use without affecting worker productivity and collaboration.

To further protect against data leaks AccessPatrol includes employee monitoring software features such as USB device usage detection alerts to notify the IT team of suspicious USB activities, making it a valuable data loss prevention, incident response, and security compliance tool.

The included USB activity reports are ideal audit trails for tracking how sensitive data is handled on portable storage devices, making it the best employee monitoring software for USB data security.

BrowseControl web content filtering software

BrowseControl is an easy-to-use web filter that helps organizations enforce policies, improve productivity, reduce bandwidth consumption, and meet compliance requirements – no matter where their users are located.

With BrowseControl you can ensure a safe and productive environment by blocking high-risk, distracting, or inappropriate websites, improve network performance by blocking bandwidth hogs, and prevent users from using unsanctioned applications and software-as-a-service providers

BrowseControl’s security policies are enforced by a software agent that is installed on your user’s computers. This allows the solution to continue blocking websites and applications even when computers are taken off-site.

BrowseControl’s central console allows you to configure your security policies from the convenience of a web browser. 

With BrowseControl you can Block or allow websites based on URL, category, domain, or IP address, assign custom policies for each group of computers or users, prevent users from launching specific applications, and block network ports to reduce the attack surface of your network

There are three key methods for blocking websites with BrowseControl:

The Blocked List allows you to block specific websites based on URL, domain, or IP address

Category Filtering allows you to block millions of websites across over 100 content categories including pornography, social media, and virus-infected sites.

and finally, you can use the Allowed List to allow specific websites that would otherwise be blocked based on their category, or for the greatest security and control you can block all websites except for those that are on the Allowed List.

When your users try to visit a blocked website they can either be presented with a custom warning message or directed to another site, such as a page with a reminder of your organization’s internet use policy.

With BrowseControl’s App Blocker you can prevent your users from launching specific applications.

Simply select the group you would like to restrict, enter the Original Filename of the application to the Application List, and add it to the blocked applications list.

When the user tries to launch the blocked application they can be presented with a custom warning message that alerts them of the restriction.

BrowseControl is best used in tandem with our computer monitoring software BrowseReporter. Using both solutions provides the visibility and control you need to ensure that your organization’s computers are being used appropriately.

Don’t let internet abuse run rampant in your organization. Take back control over web browsing with a free trial of BrowseControl.

Get started today by visiting CurrentWare.com/Download

If you have any technical questions during your evaluation our support team is available to help you over a phone call, live chat, or email.

Thank you!

BrowseControl web filtering software controls internet access and blocks websites based on URLs and content categories. Granular internet restriction policies can be customized for each user, department, or organizational unit. It includes other device restriction features such as an app blocker, port filter, and internet restriction scheduler.

As with all of the solutions in the CurrentWare Suite, BrowseControl operates from the same central console. This allows it to be effortlessly combined with the employee monitoring software solutions for optimal insights and control over employee PC use.

enPowerManager remote PC power manager
enPowerManager-User-Logon-History-Report-2021

enPowerManager is an effective solution for remotely managing PC power policies. The central console allows businesses to configure advanced power policies and establish automatic startup and shutdown times to conserve energy and reduce costs.

enPowerManager includes reports on computer power states such as logon/logoff times and reports with timestamped startup/shutdown/hibernate events.

These reports help technicians identify the uptime of remote endpoints and serves as valuable attendance tracking data, allowing managers to use enPowerManager as an employee monitoring software to verify that offsite employees are logging in and out during expected timeframes.

CurrentWare Employee Monitoring Software Pricing

When purchased individually, BrowseReporter, AccessPatrol, and BrowseControl start at $3.99 USD per license per month for companies that purchase less than 100 licenses. enPowerManager starts at $1.99 USD per license per month.

The full CurrentWare Suite starts at $8.99 USD per license per month for companies that purchase less than 100 licenses. This advantageous pricing makes it the best employee monitoring software for businesses of all sizes.

There are discounts available for large volumes of licenses, educational organizations, non-profits, managed services providers, and businesses that pre-purchase multiple year plans.

CurrentWare offers a 14 day free trial of its employee monitoring software suite for up to 10 team members.

CurrentWare Employee Monitoring Software Reviews

"When we first saw the employee tracking reports we were totally surprised by some of the behaviors that had gone under the radar" - Kevin Porsche, IT Admin, Shady Maple

”As a ‘novice’ I was able to set up with help from support in about an hour. Previous software took forever and didn’t work as advertised; this software worked right out of the box. It allows my workers to use the internet and make money for the practice without distraction/temptation to use personal websites/email/shopping.”
Gerard B., Office Manager

”The team and product have been nothing but a great experience. I’m glad I found this product because I was able to fill a hole in our security footprint quite easily. The team at Currentware reaches out quite frequently to check-in and even have me demo future deployments for feedback.”
Nicholas S., IT Service Desk Supervisor

”We are able to make sure employees are not spending work time on the internet, and if there is an issue we have the documentation to prove it.”
Ken W., IT Manager

”I have found the Real-time monitoring in conjunction with the Active vs Total Browsing time reports to be extremely helpful in getting the full picture of how efficient our workforce really is.”
Scott S., Sr Systems Engineer

CurrentWare Employee Monitoring Software Pros

Easy to Use

CurrentWare’s employee monitoring software solutions are designed to be intuitive to use, making the solution an excellent choice for teams with mixed levels of technical expertise. Once deployed, applying policies and running employee activity reports is as easy as a few clicks.

  1. ”I love that once you set up the product, which only takes maybe 30 minutes, you can really set and forget it. You can utilize automation functions to make your life easier as an admin and have no worries.” – Nicholas S., IT Service Desk Supervisor
  2. ”BrowseReporter provides comprehensive reports that help me keep track of my employee’s web browsing activities. It’s easy to use and setup.”- Stanley K., IT Director
  3. ”Very simple to set up, and it is very easy to install on the client’s computer. Also, the ongoing administration of the devices is easy to maintain.” – Jude M., CEO
  4. “This software was easy to install and customize to our needs. Within minutes we had it up and running with a clear understanding of all the basic tools.” – Scott S. Sr Systems Engineer
Attractively Priced

At $3.99 USD per license per month for each solution, CurrentWare is the best-valued employee and computer monitoring software on the market for the capabilities it provides.

  1. “We looked at other products but BrowseReporter offered better value for the money spent” – Richard A., P. Eng., FEC
  1. “BrowseReporter was a good value for the price and seemed much more straight-forward to implement.” – Daniel L., Security Analyst
  1. “It’s easy to deploy and manage, super low-profile and a very good value per user.” – Nathan C., IT Consultant
Flexibility

Many security software companies force you to purchase an entire suite of software, even if all you truly need is a portion of the capabilities offered. 

CurrentWare’s à la carte sales model allows you to purchase the best employee monitoring software solution you need for the most flexibility while offering the option to purchase the full suite for the best value.

For example, if you only need to monitor employee internet and app usage you can purchase BrowseReporter without purchasing the other solutions. This gives you access to valuable productivity tracking reports at a competitive price.

Many of CurrentWare’s monitoring features can even be enabled or disabled based on the needs of the organization. For example, in BrowseReporter you can selectively choose whether or not URL tracking, Windows title tracking, category tracking, bandwidth tracking, application tracking, screenshot monitoring, IP location tracking, and idle time tracking based on keyboard and mouse activity are active. This provides an extra safeguard for protecting employee privacy.

  1. “With the ability to add several products to the CurrentWare Agent, this was a no-brainer for us.” – Evan S., Vessel IT Team Lead
  1. “Other products gave me what I needed, but I would have had to purchase a whole suite of products. They allowed me to purchase exactly what I needed, so that is great from a cost perspective.” – Nicholas S., IT Service Desk Supervisor
Self-Managed Cloud & On-Premises Employee Monitoring Software Deployment Options

Companies with stringent data security and privacy compliance requirements want to have full control over their data. Fortunately, CurrentWare cannot access your data as all of its software is deployed and managed by your company. This makes it the best employee monitoring software for companies that want to ensure their data is not handled by a third party.

Note: Even when deployed on-premises CurrentWare is capable of remote employee monitoring.

Customer Support
Other companies don’t give the attention and support you need. With CurrentWare I know that when I need them I can just call them up.

Even the best employee monitoring software means nothing if support and development is lacking.

Operating systems and web browsers are constantly evolving so the product development team needs to regularly update their software—and they need an attentive customer support team to match.

There’s nothing more frustrating than hopelessly waiting for unanswered tickets to be resolved by inattentive support agents. Or worse—being bounced around to multiple agents that give you the exact same canned response and a link to a knowledge base article that you’ve already tried.

Fortunately, CurrentWare is well known for directly integrating customer feedback into their development cycle. Their technical support team is responsive to their customers and they are available via phone, email, and live chat. 

  1. “CurrentWare takes user feedback and actually reacts to it. We have definitely enjoyed making use of their propensity to involve feature requests from customers as part of the roadmap for future updates.” – Kevin Porsche, IT Admin, Shady Maple
  2. “The support team is pretty responsive and they are helpful in times of need; install, updates, etc.“ – Jay Y., Sr Systems Admin
  3. “The software installation was easy, and support is great!“ – Pankaj S., President
  4. “Very good experience and the support is very quick.“ – James B., IT Manager
  5. “Of the few issues that came up in the install, tech support was beyond outstanding.“ – Robert L.,Teacher

CurrentWare Cons

Only For Windows Devices & No Mobile App

“For now, BrowseReporter is only compatible with Windows computers. In the future, they should work with other devices.“ – Stanley K., IT Director

While this will not be a concern for Windows environments, it’s worth noting. CurrentWare’s software is exclusively offered for Windows servers, laptops, and desktops; there is no Linux or Mac offering or an app for mobile devices.

If you would like to monitor mobile devices you may want to consider a dedicated mobile device management solution.

Note: CurrentWare is Windows 11 compatible and can be used to monitor employees in a Citrix environment when it’s used on Windows-based virtual machines.

The Server Does Not Work On Windows Home

While the CurrentWare Clients that are installed on the employee’s computer are compatible with Home editions of Windows , the CurrentWare Server is not. The server uses Windows Internet Information Services (IIS), which is not available on consumer editions of Windows .

Anyone looking to use the monitoring and web filtering software to manage their family’s internet usage will need to seek out a different company. CurrentWare is the best employee monitoring software for businesses, not families.

See CurrentWare’s system requirements for more information.

No Month-to-Month Payment Option

While CurrentWare is charged per user per month (PUPM), their plans are billed annually with a 12-month minimum. While there is a 14-day free trial available for testing, some companies may prefer to use employee monitoring software for a few months so they can see that it’s truly the best employee monitoring software before committing to a full year.

No API or Integrations

Though CurrentWare allows you to export reports to .csv files, they do not offer a public-facing API. 

If you would like to further analyze employee data with Microsoft Power BI, Tableau, or Google Data Studio you will need to manually export .csv files or connect CurrentWare’s SQL database to your BI tools.

In addition, CurrentWare does not offer integrations to project management tools such as Asana and Trello.

Subscription Pricing

CurrentWare’s software is delivered on a subscription basis. Their plans require an annual renewal to continue using the software, which may be cost-prohibitive for small businesses that prefer to purchase software once and invest in updates on an as-needed basis.

Fortunately the subscription included 1:1 customer support and regular features updates. Companies that want access to the best monitoring software features will benefit greatly from the subscription model.

Cloud Offering is Self-Managed

While CurrentWare can be deployed to a self-managed cloud server, it is not natively cloud-hosted software. CurrentWare is exclusively hosted and managed by your company, either on-premises or on a self-managed cloud server.

While this is ideal from a data privacy perspective, some companies may not be interested in configuring their own cloud server on AWS, GCP, or Azure.

2) The Best Employee Monitoring Software For Insider Threat Management

Insider threats - how to protect your data. CurrentWare

Teramind is the best employee monitoring software for insider threat management.

With Teramind’s user activity monitoring features, you can capture just about everything your employees do on their computers: keystroke recording, location IP logging, productivity monitoring, real-time instant message reading, email monitoring, video screen recordings, and more. Teramind also includes a remote desktop control feature that allows you to take full control of the user’s computer.

This detailed level of activity monitoring and security features makes Teramind the best employee monitoring software for insider threat detection, though it may raise privacy concerns for employees.

Due to its high price and extremely comprehensive reporting, Teramind’s employee monitoring tools are likely far more robust than what is needed to increase productivity and efficiency. Features like basic internet activity monitoring are more than sufficient to improve employee productivity.

While this intense level of detail may feel overly invasive for what is needed to track productivity and enforce acceptable use policies, it is useful for the military and other highly regulated environments where insiders need to be carefully monitored for indicators of compromise. For these environments, Teramind may be one of the best employee monitoring software options.

Teramind allows you to set behavior rules with regular expressions. This allows the IT team to define granular parameters for when they are alerted of user activity, making it easier to detect a potential company data breach or insider threat.

Teramind Pricing

CloudOn-Premises
Starter$10 USD$5 USD
UAM$20.83 USD$10.42 USD
DLP$25 USD$12.50 USD

Teramind has 3 different pricing tiers – Teramind Starter, Teramind UAM, and Teramind DLP. Each tier adds additional functionality; starter offers basic monitoring, UAM offers more granular monitoring, and DLP adds content discovery and data fingerprinting features.

The cost of each tier depends on whether you opt to store company data on Teramind’s cloud servers or host the solution on-premises.

The cloud offering is priced per user per month; the on-premises offering is priced per endpoint per month.

Teramind offers a 14 day free trial for the on-premises version of their employee monitoring software or a seven day free trial for the cloud version.

Teramind Reviews

  1. “With the extensive customization, alert options, and security features, I would recommend Teramind to employers looking to better control how their employees interact with company resources/technology.” – Timothy O., Desktop Support Technician
  1. “We use lots of monitoring systems such as email motoring and IP monitoring however, since we’ve started using Teramind we have no need to switch between different systems, Teramind monitors everything from emails to websites and keystrokes.“ – Anonymous Reviewer
  2. “They can monitor everything, and by everything I mean just that. Live screens, recorded sessions, web, app’s, email (personal as well), keystrokes, file transfers, printed documents…“ – Johanna S., Managing Partner

Teramind Key Features

  • Video screen recording & capture random screenshots
  • Abusive behavior detection
  • Employee engagement tracking
  • Log keystrokes
  • Print monitoring
  • Internet and application usage monitoring

Teramind Pros

You Can Monitor Just About Anything

If you need to monitor everything and anything your employees do, Teramind’s DLP and user activity monitoring features can capture it. You can even capture live audio and video recordings, making it the best employee monitoring software for workforce surveillance.

“Teramind is an amazing software and it has so much features that I can’t even remember all of them.” – Andrigo F., Support Analyst

“Overall, Teramind is far more advanced than the other competitors.” – Ricky H., Government Administration

Data Loss Prevention

Alongside the monitoring features Teramind also provides a policy and rule engine that allows you to create your own rules with a visual policy and rule editor. These rules allow you to customize the exact parameters that need to happen before an administrator is notified.

Teramind’s data loss prevention employee monitoring plans (Teramind DLP) also includes content discovery and data classification features that help businesses identify structured and unstructured sensitive information that is on their network.

Monitor & Control

In addition to user activity monitoring, Teramind allows you to configure rules that notify, block, redirect, log out, or even lock-out a user based on what they do on their computers. These rules can be used to block websites employees may try to visit and external storage devices.

Multi-Platform Support

Teramind supports Windows 7+, Citrix XenApp & XenDesk, Windows Server 2012+, VMware Horizon, and Mac OSX. This makes it a viable option for environments with both Windows and Mac computers that need to be monitored and controlled.

Teramind Cons

Cost Prohibitive Pricing

“It is an expensive software. Even choosing the on-premise version (which should be the cheaper option), it costs a lot. I think they could lower the price…” – Andrigo F., Support Analyst

Teramind is by far the most expensive of the solutions featured in this article. At the absolute minimum Teramind costs $5 USD per endpoint per month for the on-premises starter tier, going up to $25 USD per user per month for the hosted DLP tier.

Complicated to Manage

“It can be a bit daunting if you are new to tools of the sort, and monitoring in general. The massive customization, especially with alerts, requires a decent amount of system knowledge, both Teramind & OS.” – Timothy O., Desktop Support Technician

“It needed to be set up by an experienced IT Department. I tried to do it for my team and nothing was working.” – Paul R., Marketing

The robust features of Teramind also makes it an intimidating piece of software to manage. Organizations without a dedicated and experienced IT department to manage the deployment should consider implementing another solution.

Teramind admins will need to dedicate time to thoroughly understand how to make use out of all of the features offered. They’ll also benefit from familiarizing themselves with regular expressions and how to discern false positives against actual threats. 

Mixed Reviews on Support

“Buyer beware. The platform is very advanced from the looks of it but since I have signed up 2 weeks ago, the system hasn’t tracked time or tasks properly and after spending hours on remote sessions, chat and email support, the system is still not working and when I request additional support they have nor record of all of the tickets, meetings, etc. As a new customer, this experience has been horrible. Again the platform may be advanced but all that technology doesn’t do any good if you can’t use it and support can’t support you.” – William S., Founder (2020)

“Problems seem to happen a lot, which we understand about software, but every time we bring to the attention of support, we get “we’re aware of this and working on it”… Well, why aren’t we getting notified about the issues when they happen, and why do they take so long to fix?” – Chris F., CTO (2018)

“A bit expensive for a mid size company. Tech support is outside N. America and the only way to reach them is via email, a phone support 24/7 would have been better.” – Raj K., Consultant (2018)

“The support is also a bit lacking – chat/email only and can be slow or needing multiple prompts for communication. I also don’t like how if there is an outage of reporting it doesn’t seem to be possible to get logs from the software that would indicate the reason why. I have asked and received no response from their support staff, which was irritating.” – Ben M., IT Technician (2017)

Teramind’s Capterra reviews showcase mixed opinions about their support team. While Teramind does offer a self-serve knowledge base, email, and live chat, many reviewers have found themselves being ignored by their support staff. Teramind support is also notably not available by phone call; the number on their site is only for their sales team.

On the other hand, other reviewers have spoken favorably about their support:

  • “Every time I had a question it was answered in minutes. Never had to wait. They make sure you are successful using it.” – Olga S., MGRM
  • “Their support team were helpful, unlike many other software companies.” – Kasey B., Adjunct Professor of Political Science

3) The Best Employee Monitoring Software for Workforce Analytics

Business Intelligence - How organizations use employee monitoring data - CurrentWare

Historically, even the best employee monitoring software has been thought of as a form of workplace surveillance. The widespread availability of monitoring software with stealth modes further emphasizes the desire for some workplaces to be discreet about their network monitoring practices.

ActivTrak takes a different approach to employee monitoring by emphasizing “insight, not oversight” and focusing on workforce analytics vs traditional employee monitoring.

To help with their focus on business intelligence and workforce analytics they offer a paid add-on called ActivConnect that allows integration between ActivTrak and BI software, allowing for further employee productivity analysis and user behavior analytics than what is offered natively in the platform.

ActivTrak Pricing

ActivTrak offers a free plan with all the standard features for up to three users that includes 3GB of storage.

Being one of the few employee monitoring software providers to offer a free plan makes them a suitable choice for small business owners that want to track team productivity on a small scale.

Their advanced tier is $9 USD per user per month and includes unlimited storage along with extra functionality to reports, alarm-triggered screenshots, and USB device & file transfer detection.

Their $15 USD PUPM tier provides greater customer support and adds extra productivity analysis features such as goal setting/tracking, benchmarks, work efficiency tracking, inefficiency analysis, and a tech usage and adoption tracker.

ActivTrak offers a 14 day free trial of their employee monitoring software.

ActivTrak Reviews

  1. “ActivTrak is a great tool with many uses; not just “big brother” tracking, but assists the sales team [to] be aware of areas of improvement in their productivity.” – Cofi J., CEO
  1. ”Our employees know we monitor their workstations, so they behave and don’t misuse our IT resources. That’s one less reason to fire them.” – Jose P., Owner
  1. ”It’s not a cheaper solution but it is a better solution if you want more detail into what your employees are doing. It really made the owner cringe at the level of detail we can see what the employees do, he almost thought it was too invasive” – Anonymous Reviewer

ActivTrak Pros

Customer Support

“So many times, support disappears as soon as a sale is made. Not here. They follow through on every question and make sure things are done right.” – Wade M., IT

Many of ActivTrak’s Capterra reviews note that their customer support is responsive and knowledgeable, which is essential for any software product.

Ease of Use

“What I liked most about it is the ease of deployment and the stealth of the service, it is almost undetectable which makes it the perfect tool for the consulting services we offer as a company.” – Nestor S., Founder

Once the initial setup is complete, ActivTrak is easy to use for novice and advanced users alike. 

Integrations

For an extra $2 USD per user per month ActivTrak can be connected to business intelligence tools, Salesforce, Jira, Zapier, and other tools via the ActivConnect API. This integration can be valuable for larger organizations that want to further analyze aggregated data.

ActivTrak Cons

Pricing

“We are not exactly excited about it’s pricing structure.” – Wade M., IT

Though ActivTrak is notably less expensive than Teramind, their lowest-featured paid tier is still $9 USD per user per month. Getting access to their API adds an additional $2 USD per user per month. For small teams ActivTrak is free for up to three users.

This pricing structure can make ActivTrak a cost prohibitive or less desirable employee productivity monitoring solution for companies that want to monitor all of their employees with less of an investment. 

Licensing

“The software has a tendency to create multiple “users” (people you are tracking) for the same person. One record for the computer, another for their associated Windows/Chrome identity and sometimes others if they have multiple user accounts on the same computer. This can cause you to have 3 or more user records to track for a single person. You can group them together and use an alias, which is great, but the overall number of users reporting will affect your billing plan.” – Brandon S., President

In addition to the steep pricing, ActivTrak’s licensing model has caused some issues. 

Once the ActivTrak agent is installed, any user that logs into a computer where the agent is installed will automatically be tracked and counted against user licensing.  New user profiles on machines that are not domain connected will also count as a new user within ActivTrak.

As ActivTrak charges based on the perceived user count, this has led to unexpected charges on some customers’ statements.

No On-Premises Option

All ActivTrak deployments must be stored on ActivTrak’s cloud server. Companies that require or desire greater control over their employee productivity data may prefer a solution that can be installed on their own self-managed servers.

4) The Best Employee Monitoring Software For Time Tracking

Time Theft In The Workplace

Time Doctor is the best employee time tracking software for freelancers and agencies that need to track billable hours on projects. Unlike traditional employee tracking software that emphasizes a top-down approach, Time Doctor is commonly used directly by employees.

Time Doctor includes features that are optimized for managing projects, self-monitoring, and manual time tracking. Higher tiers provide more traditional employee monitoring features such as application and website usage monitoring that are intended to help verify time tracking.

Time Doctor Pricing

Time Doctor comes in three tiers – Basic, Standard, and Premium. The Basic tier is $6 USD per user per month and includes 1 month of data storage, time tracking, project tracking, and activity tracking for 1 group.

The Standard tier adds website and application usage monitoring, up to three groups, 6 months of data storage, payroll, and 24-hour email/chat support.

The Premium plan adds white glove support options, unlimited groups/storage, and the ability to provide clients with logins to the platform.

Time Doctor offers a 14 day free trial of their employee monitoring software. 

Time Doctor Reviews

  1. “Overall, Time Doctor is great for productivity, time tracking, and project management. It has the best Leave-Tracking features that send notifications if the person is still working on a task.” – Irfan K., Senior Transmission Engineer
  1. “Time Doctor has been a lifesaver for me. I am a one-person design company and I need to track the time I spend on many different projects all at once. My previous solution was to write down the time on sticky notes or note pads, but there was always the chance that I might misplace it or lose it. Nor could I generate my invoices from my home office if I’d left the billing hours info at my office. So this was a great all in one solution.” – Anonymous Reviewer
  2. “I am able to maintain transparency with my clients at all times. TimeDoctor helps me track my hours and provide documented proof of work and give my clients a better view of how I complete my work/tasks. It also helps me in managing my time better.” – Dianne Mae P., Business Manager & Marketing Strategist

Time Doctor Pros

Reliable Time Tracking

“Time Doctor allows me to make sure my employees are working and billing their time without me being a nag.” – Alicia D., CEO

Time Doctor is best known for its time tracking capabilities. Time Doctor makes it easy to track employee time on projects with insights into how much time is spent per task. You can select total hours worked per day, week, or per month.

Time Doctor includes an optional idle time tracker that can alert an employee when they have been idle for too long. It will ask them if they would like to count their idle time as work time or if they would like to discard it, making accidentally forgetting to clock out an issue of that past.

Time Doctor also allows employees to review and manually adjust their time cards with a note to their manager, avoiding concerns that automatic time tracking will miss work time. 

Integrations

Of all the employee monitoring and time tracking solutions on this list, Time Doctor has the most robust integrations. Time Doctor can sync with common tools such as FreshBooks, Jira, Asana, Trello, GitHub, Basecamp, Slack, Salesforce, Teamwork, QuickBooks, and more. 

Multiplatform

Time Doctor is available on a variety of platforms including a Google Chrome extension, and Android/iOS mobile app, Linux, macOS, and Microsoft Windows. 

Note: The mobile apps allows remote and travelling employees to track their time while away from the computer. It is not a mobile device monitoring software.

Time Doctor Cons

No On Premises Solution

Time Doctor does not offer an on-premises option for their employee time tracking software. Companies that require or desire greater control over their employee’s data may prefer a solution that can be installed on their own self-managed servers.

Employee Privacy Issues for BYOD

“The screenshots are taken randomly which is a breach of privacy if you were on a window that has a personal email open. Whoever is the administrator that sees your screenshots taken by the system will also be able to see your personal information. One has to be rather careful when using TimeDoctor that no personal window or task is open so as to not share that info in a random screenshot.” – Anonymous Reviewer

While Time Doctor is popular among freelancers, there are some features that are a privacy concern for those that use personal devices for work purposes. 

As noted by the Capterra review, it’s critical that the administrator does not enable the random screenshots features for personal devices as it may capture sensitive information. If random screenshots need to be captured, enabling the Blur Screenshots feature can help reduce this issue, though it may make the screenshots less useful.

Unfortunately, if personal information is captured deleting the screenshot isn’t necessarily the best option as doing so causes the associated work time to also be removed. 

Idle Time Inaccuracies

Time Doctor includes a feature that prompts employees to confirm that they are still working when they’ve been idle on their computers. If they do not answer the prompt, the Time Doctor will automatically stop tracking their time.

While this feature can be helpful, it has also caused inaccurate time keeping and stress for employees that perform work-adjacent tasks outside of their workstation. It may also unfairly dock time for employees that are taking bathroom breaks, paid lunch breaks, watching training videos, attending meetings, and other employee behavior that doesn’t require keyboard and mouse activity.

5) The Best Employee Monitoring Software for Employee Privacy

Employee Monitoring - Privacy Tips for Employers - CurrentWare

Workpuls (which rebranded to be Insightful in 2022) provides employee work hours tracking and activity monitoring features that are similar to Time Doctor’s. 

What makes Workpuls the best employee monitoring software for privacy-focused organizations is its ability to allow employees to enable or disable the monitoring as they see fit. 

This makes it a viable option for companies that allow employees to use company-provided devices for personal tasks, though it is less ideal for security-conscious organizations that need audit trails of employee computer activity.

Workpuls Pricing (Insightful Pricing)

Like many companies on this list, Workpuls offers multiple tiers for their product. Their tiers are: Employee Monitoring, Time Tracking, Automatic Time Mapping, and an Enterprise plan.

The Workpuls Employee Monitoring tier is $4.80 USD PUPM. It includes basic activity reporting, productivity reports, and timekeeping functionalities. These features are suitable for understanding basic employee behavior.

The Time Tracking tier is $6.40 USD PUPM. It builds on the Employee Monitoring tier with the addition of project management and task-specific work hours tracking features. It also provides the option to purchase add-ons that allow for payroll integration, budgeting, and client login.

The Automatic Time Mapping tier is $12 USD PUPM. It builds on the Time Tracking tier with the addition of automated time and attendance tracking. This tier also includes all of Workpuls’ add-ons such as raw data, payroll integration, manual screenshots, and alerts. 

The Enterprise tier pricing is specific to each customer. It includes all of the features of the previous tiers with the addition of on-premises deployment options, role-based access, audit logs, a dedicated account manager, 24/7 support, and a service-level agreement (SLA).

Workpuls offers a seven day free trial of their employee monitoring software. 

Workpuls Reviews (Insightful Reviews)

“We have found Workpuls to be the most accurate time tracker with the ability to customize Idle time outs as per how your employees work.“ – Laura M., Director of Operations/Owner

“When we realized that we needed a time tracking solution we were not able to find the best fit for a long time because there is no other app that only focuses on work; all other solutions track the team’s private time as well. With this one we are able to filter and ignore anything that is not work related so our colleagues don’t need to worry about their privacy while we still have proof of their work and engagement.“ – Boris Z., Head of Operations

“In general, Workpuls is pretty intuitive for our management, allows team leaders to manage their own departments, and let employees fill in their own time spent on meetings and workshops“ – Andjelka D., CEO

Workpuls Pros (Insightful Pros)

Cloud and On-Premises Installation Options

Though the on-premises version is exclusively for the Enterprise tier, having the flexibility to install the software on a privately managed server is a valuable option for many companies.

Privacy & Transparency

Unlike traditional top-down employee monitoring software providers, Workpuls provides a variety of features that allow employees to be directly involved in the monitoring process.

  1. Employees can get the installation files sent straight to their inbox, with an explanation of what the monitoring software is.
  2. Workpuls provides an application that employees can use to clock in and out, stopping and starting the monitoring process as they see fit.
Ease of Use

“Easy to use (no need of special training) – Easy to follow each employee and department and compare them” – Hugo C., CTO

“Extremely easy to use and you get a personal demo from them before you start the trial.” – Kashif R., CEO

WorkPuls’ employee monitoring software UI is simple and easy to use. They also include an integrated interactive knowledge base/live chat function to help new admins learn their way around the console, making it a user friendly monitoring tool for admins that are less familiar with technology.

Workpuls Cons (Insightful Cons)

Limited Features

“It lacks a few features but the price they advertise is the price you pay. It needs sortable reports which you can export.” – Kimberly H., Business Owner

Though Workpuls handles basic time and activity tracking, it is not as robust as many of its competitors. It lacks bandwidth usage tracking, email alerts, USB activity tracking, website content categorization, and automatic data culling based on custom retention periods.

Inflexible Email Reports

“The reports could still get more updated in the sense that when I select the details for the month, I should see the aggregate totals of each employee as a spread and not a daily tabular for each employee in one place. In this case, I have to extract the details and apply a PIVOT to come to the totals of each employee.” – Rohit T., Sales Manager

“I think the email reports could be improved. They are not that intuitive or flexible, and I’m still waiting for this to be improved.” – Anonymous Reviewers

“Email reports are fixed and not that intuitive, they promised that it will be improved in the next iteration, but it has been 45 days since…” – Boris Z., Head of Operations

The inflexibility and limitations of Workpuls’ email reports have been a notable frustration for its users. 

In addition to the notes from the Capterra reviews, the company performance reports can only be sent at midnight at the end of the period selected in the report. The email reports can also only be sent to a limit of 3 email addresses.

On Premises Solution is Exclusive to Enterprise Plans

Since only Enterprise plan accounts can access the on-premises version of Workpuls, you must buy licenses for at least 100 employees to store data on your own servers. This is not ideal for smaller companies that need self-hosted employee monitoring software due to data security or privacy compliance requirements.

What to Look for in the Best Employee Monitoring Software Vendors

The best employee monitoring tools provide business leaders with the data they need to make informed decisions. Consider these key employee monitoring features and other aspects when evaluating your employee monitoring software vendors.

Dedicated Account Managers & Support Staff

Other companies don’t give the attention and support you need. With CurrentWare I know that when I need them I can just call them up.

Since monitoring tools need to integrate with increasingly complex systems it is critical that the vendor allows its customers to contact customer support for technical issues. When deciding on a software vendor, look for one that has telephone-based support during hours that your business is typically open.

From an account management perspective, a dedicated account manager will ensure that you are able to seamlessly add new licenses to your account as your business scales. Your dedicated account manager is also an important liaison to the software vendor, allowing you to provide direct feedback on the product.

Internet Usage Monitoring

employee internet mangement - handle workplace internet abuse

One of the most common uses of employee monitoring software is website tracking. By monitoring employee internet use in a company can ensure that websites such as social media, pornography, and phishing sites are not being accessed on company devices.

Monitoring employee activity in this way improves employee productivity by providing business owners with evidence of excessive web surfing. Website tracking is also an important security feature as high-risk user behavior could help compromise the network.

When evaluating the best employee monitoring systems for your needs, consider how much website tracking details you need. Details such as timestamps, URLs, and website categorization all help you understand how employees are using company devices.

Application Usage Tracking

Application Tracking - Save Money on Unused Software

Using employee monitoring software to track the computer applications used by employees helps measure software license utilization rates, identify the excessive use of unproductive software, and detect unauthorized programs.

Without this visibility, a business could fall victim to shadow IT related security vulnerabilities. While not all unauthorized programs are malicious it’s critical that monitoring tools are in place to detect any software that needs to be managed by the IT department.

Active Time vs Total Time Tracking

Idle Time Tracking - How active are your employees? CurrentWare

Time tracking with employee monitoring software can provide incredibly valuable insights, but only if the productivity reports are truly accurate.

To get the most accurate reports, you need to track user activity in a way that differentiates between what the user is actually spending time on vs what is simply open on their computer.

Employee monitoring software that tracks active time will track how long applications and websites are actively used by the users, whereas employee monitoring software that only tracks total time report a list of applications and websites that were open on the computer without properly contextualizing whether the employee was actually using them or if they were simply opened and left running in the background.

The best employee monitoring software will have the ability to report what employees are truly doing. The reporting of active time allows IT administrators and managers to trust and understand the reports generated, giving them the opportunity to generate actionable outcomes from the employee activity data.

Custom Data Retention Settings

Organizations that have a legal requirement to use employee monitoring software need to ensure that the data is accessible for review. 

Employee monitoring software with configurable data retention settings makes auditing, compliance, and storage less of a hassle for large-scale deployments. The ideal employee monitoring software will allow the organization to store the data indefinitely to ensure that records are maintained as long as needed or have the activity logs periodically purged.

Automated purging saves organizations considerable costs on storage and administration as they will not need to manually purge the data, purchase new storage hardware, or upgrade to a greater storage volume wFh their cloud storage provider.

This automated culling is especially important for any business that is subject to data privacy legislation. These regulations typically require that employee information is only kept for as long as it is relevant and necessary for the company. 

Hybrid & Remote Employee Monitoring

remote workforce management - Essential Tools for managing a remote team

The modern workforce is no longer exclusively in-house and 9-5 – they are a mix of traditional and non-traditional staff such as remote workers, transient workers, hybrid workers, contractors, and temporary workers. 

The rising demand for flexible work options means that employee monitoring software solutions need to have the flexibility and features to support the unique needs of a remote workforce.

To monitor out-of-office employees, the software must support one of the following:

  • Local caching to allow for the temporary local collection of user behavior data until they are re-connected to the company’s internal network
  • Port forwarding to allow for live monitoring of out-of-office workers
  • The ability to deploy the employee monitoring software to a cloud server

Track User Activity & Device Activity

A group of employees reviewing reports

Device monitoring will track all activity on a specific device whereas user monitoring will track the individual user regardless of the device they use. 

In a workplace setting where the employer wants to understand the browsing habits of individual employees, device-level insights may not provide sufficient details as their employees may not have a designated workstation (in the case of hot desking) or they may share devices with their coworkers.

When selecting an employee monitoring software vendor, organizations should ensure that monitoring is available for both device and user groups to provide them with the best flexibility for their needs. Having access to both features is excellent for tailoring the insights reported based on the unique needs of managers, human resources, and IT administrators.

Administrative Permissions & Groupings

User grouping features such as Organizational Units (OUs) within Active Directory allow administrators to efficiently implement and adjust bespoke settings based on department, location, user, the types of information handled, and other important considerations. 

Bespoke settings ensure that the solution does not cause a bottleneck in productivity. Inflexible employee monitoring software will cause less at-risk users to have the same policy restrictions and monitoring policies as users that perform tasks with sensitive information such as personal health information (PHI).

For large enterprises and other expanding organizations, the ability to group users and devices based on location, department or role is crucial to limit the time investment required in managing the monitoring solution. 

Best-in-class employee monitoring software solutions allow for granular control of the product’s features including who can run reports, who has access to a given group’s reports, and who will receive automated email reports based on the activity of the designated groups.

Real-Time Alerts & Notifications

Real-time alerts and other notifications are a critical component of insider threat detection as they can be configured to alert administrators to insider threats engaging in suspicious or risky behavior. 

Real time alerts can include: 

  • File Operations Alerts: Alerts when an attempt is made to copy files to an unauthorized external storage, when sensitive file types are being accessed, or other suspicious file operations. This is especially useful for preventing breaches caused by malicious insider threats.
  • Inappropriate Website Use: An employee attempts to access websites that are considered not safe for work (NSFW) in the organization.
  • Browsing/Bandwidth Limit Reached: An alert can be sent to users when they have exceeded their allotted browsing time or bandwidth usage for the day.

The Benefits of Employee Monitoring

Track Employee Productivity

employee productivity: Benefits of tracking employees

Gallup estimates that actively disengaged employees cost the U.S. between $483 billion to $605 billion each year in lost productivity. Employee monitoring tools help managers with employee disengagement analysis by allowing them to detect early warning signs of disengagement such as excessive unproductive web surfing. 

Forbes article has even stated that the average employee steals approximately 4.5 hours per week from their employer, totaling nearly 6 full work weeks per year. This costs businesses hundreds of billions of dollars a year worldwide.

Furthermore, according to statistics from Salary.com a staggering 64% of employees visit non-business-related websites every day.

Of that 64%…

  • 39% spend one hour or less per week
  • 29% spend 2 hours per week
  • 21% waste five hours per week
  • 3% waste 10+ hours

While it’s true that the time an employee spends on non-work sites isn’t a sole indicator of productivity, excessive waste of company time quickly adds up. Continuously shirking ones duties in favor of browsing social media is also a potential sign of disengagement that needs to be addressed.

Tracking employee activity with an employee monitoring solution provides managers with detailed reports that are valuable for detecting counterproductive employee behavior such as company time theft, poor employee attendance, and how many employees are spending excessive time browsing social media sites.

In addition to detecting and resolving employee behavior issues, these tools allow you to track employee behavior over time to see how your highest performers contribute to workplace productivity trends. You’ll also see when those with flexible schedules are most active, making it easier to schedule shifts when synchronous collaboration is needed.

This workforce productivity data provides business leaders with insights into how their workforce operates, allowing them to make informed business and task management decisions. 

Many employee productivity tools will include employee self-service features, allowing employees to access their data to self-manage their productivity and transparently see the data that is collected by their employer’s employee monitoring tool.

How an Employee Monitoring Solution Tracks Productivity

  • Idle vs Active Time: Keyboard and mouse usage are tracked to determine if an employee is actively using their computer. After a predetermined period of inactivity, the employee monitoring tool will consider the user idle. 
  • Unproductive Sites & Apps: Businesses can track employee productivity with detailed reports that outline how much time is spent on websites and apps that are considered unproductive.
  • Time Tracking Tools: The tools will track employee attendance, time spent away from the computer, and early/late logins.

Want to monitor employee productivity? With CurrentWare’s employee productivity tracking software monitoring employees is as easy as installing the software agent on your computers and reviewing detailed reports from the convenience of a web browser.

Security Threat Protection

security

An employee monitoring solution is not just used for employee performance management; some have insider threat detection capabilities that make it a valuable data loss prevention software solution.

In the realm of User behavior analytics (UBA), employee monitoring tools help businesses discover signs of insider threat risks such as anomalous/suspicious behavior, transferring sensitive data to portable storage devices or personal cloud storage accounts, logins outside of normal work hours, and counterproductive work behaviors.

In addition, businesses can monitor employees to ensure that they are following company security policies such as a removable media policy or internet use policy

Reduce Software Wastage

zoomed in shot of color-coded software code on a computer screen

The Software Usage and Waste Report 2016 report from 1E found that as much as 38% of enterprise software is underutilized or simply not being used at all. The total cost of underutilized software to these businesses is estimated to be $34 billion per year. 

In addition to tracking productivity, employee monitoring solutions can show how much time employees spend on SaaS and desktop software usage. With accurate software usage data of their workforce a business can decommission underused software and consolidate redundant solutions, resulting in significant savings on software wastage. 

Learn More: Pros and Cons of Employee Monitoring (What Employers Need to Know)

Best Practices for Using an Employee Monitoring Solution

Employee monitoring is an excellent tool for understanding how your workforce operates.

Unfortunately a history of overly-invasive deployments has caused serious concerns among employees, like:

Is my employer spying on me?

They’re just doing this to find an excuse to fire me

If they’re monitoring what I do at work, they obviously don’t trust me

This is not what you want your employees to feel. 

In this video I’m going to guide you through the best practices for monitoring employees so you can avoid these mistakes and concerns from your employees

Hello and welcome to the CurrentWare YouTube channel. 

My name is Neel Lukka and I am the managing director here at CurrentWare.

After watching this video you can learn more about this topic by reading our new white paper “Employee Monitoring: Best practices for balancing productivity, security and privacy”

You can find the link for that in the description below.

Before we start, I just want to give a quick disclaimer here. 

I’m not a lawyer and this is not legal advice. These tips are for informational purposes only. If you want to use employee monitoring software in your company be sure to consult with a legal professional first.

Alright, let’s jump in

First up is the very best tip I can give you.

If you want to succeed, you have to let your employees know that they are being monitored.

Employees that do not know if they are being monitored, why they are being monitored, and how they are being monitored are more likely to have negative reactions to being monitored

such as

Having higher rates of stress and anxiety

Being less likely to accept being monitored

And, ironically, becoming less productive

That’s not to say that transparency is going to negate each and every concern that your employees may have.

But if you start with transparency from the very beginning you have a far better chance of proving to your employees that these tools aren’t being used to spy on them. 

By being transparent you’re also giving the chance to hear about their concerns from the start. This lets you work with them to make an employee monitoring strategy that is fair and minimally invasive.

Here are 4 transparency boosting tips:

Involve a representative sample of employees when you start planning your goals and the metrics you want to capture

Tell your employees what metrics are being captured, how they’ll be used, and what is being used to capture them

Have your staff read and sign policies that disclose your intended use of the employee monitoring software

and finally, give them access to their own data so they can see exactly what’s being captured. They can even use this data to manage their own productivity, which is a major bonus

The second tip I have for you is don’t use employee monitoring to micromanage

One of the reasons that monitoring can be perceived negatively is that it feels like it’s being used to punish employees. They worry that it’s the software equivalent of a micromanaging boss staring over their shoulder while they work, just waiting for them to slip up.

Some employers do monitor internet use to make sure employees aren’t getting carried away, but did you know that so-called “unproductive” internet browsing has actually been found to have a positive impact on productivity?

It’s true! But only if that browsing doesn’t take up more than 12% of their work time.

Employees feel far better about being monitored when they’re given the autonomy to self-manage first. Managers can step in if things are getting carried away or if their employees are visiting clearly inappropriate websites.

The third and final tip I have for you today is to not monitor more than you have to.

Think about it this way – if I told you that I wanted to make sure that employee’s weren’t visiting not safe for work websites, you’d think I was crazy for asking for a direct feed into their webcams. 

The bottom line is this: 

If you can meet your company’s goals with a less invasive method of monitoring, do it that way.

For example, if you want some backup for your acceptable use policies you can use internet monitoring software to see what sites are being visited. 

But there’s no need to track individual keystrokes

Or maybe you want to protect data from being stolen. You can monitor the flow of data without recording audio clips of private conversations

Finally, maybe you want to track the work habits of employees that are working remotely or from home. Give them a company-provided device rather than monitoring their personal computers

That’s it for now. 

If you want learn more, check out our new white paper “Employee Monitoring: Best practices for balancing productivity, security and privacy”

You can find the link for that in the description below.

If you’d like to try out employee monitoring in your company, visit CurrentWare.com/Download for a free trial of BrowseReporter, our computer monitoring software.

And as always stay tuned to our YouTube channel for more videos about employee monitoring, cyber security, and CurrentWare’s workforce management software.

When implementing employee monitoring solutions it’s important to be aware of the potential privacy impact and legal compliance requirements of employee data collection. What data is collected, how it’s collected, how it’s used, and how it’s protected are all important factors from both a compliance and employee morale perspective.

  • Protect Employee Data: Depending on what is being tracked employee monitoring data may be considered sensitive. As a best practice, the data should be secured in the same way that any other form of sensitive data would be protected. In the interest of maintaining employee privacy and preventing misuse you should also limit access to employees that are trained on their privacy and security responsibilities.
  • Be Transparent: Employees should be made aware of the extent of the monitoring including what is being tracked, who will have access to their data, how it will be used, and how it will be protected. Most employers will use a workplace monitoring policy to disclose their intent to monitor their employees.
  • Monitor Employees Fairly: To maintain employee morale it’s critical that you avoid micromanaging minor deviations in productivity, monitor employees equally, and do not use computer activity data as the sole indicator of performance; is it to inform the way you manage employee performance.
  • Monitor Business PCs Only: Monitoring employee owned devices is a serious privacy violation and risks collecting sensitive personal data.

FREE WHITE PAPER

Best Practices for Monitoring Employees

In today's privacy-conscious world employers need to monitor employees in a way that is transparent, minimally invasive, and respectful of employee privacy

Read this white paper to learn the best practices for monitoring employees in the workplace.

Employee Monitoring FAQs

  1. Can My Employer Monitor My Personal Computer?

    It depends. If your employer allows you to use your personal devices for work purposes they may require you to install corporate applications that could feasibly capture details such as internet browsing, applications used, geolocation, etc. 
    That said, from a legal perspective employers are seldom justified in monitoring the computer activity of employee-owned devices. 

    Furthermore, under the vast majority of circumstances, an employer will not be justified in secretly monitoring your personal computer. They will be required to notify you through a workplace monitoring policy, acceptable use policy, or similar company policy.

    There are times where your personal activity may be logged:
    – When using employer-owned devices
    – When using your employer’s WiFi or VPN
    – When participating in a BYOD program where you consent to the monitoring

    As a best practice, you should consider all activity on employer-owned assets to be monitored. If participating in a BYOD program you should use a virtual machine or a container to keep all company software and files separate from your personal activity. 

  2. Can My Employer Give Out My Personal Information Without My Consent?

    “The employer should normally use or disclose personal information only for the purposes that it collected it for, and keep it only as long as it's needed for those purposes, unless it has the employee's consent to do something else with it, or is legally required to use or disclose it for other purposes.”
    Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada

    “Statutes, both federal and state, place limits on what employee information employers can disclose. For example, the Americans with Disabilities Act requires employers to keep information about an employee’s medical condition separate from the employee’s personnel file and treat it as a confidential medical record.”
    Wiley Wheeler, P.C. (USA)

    Generally speaking, your employer can only disclose private information about you if the disclosure is required by law or if there is a legitimate business need. 

    That said, if you gave your employer consent to collect, process, and store your personal information for a specific purpose they may be justified in sharing it with others—so long as there is a legitimate business reason to do so and the use of your data is compatible with the purpose for which it was originally collected.

    Note: Employee privacy and data protection laws will vary depending on your jurisdiction. Please consult with a professional for legal advice.

  3. Is Monitoring Employee Computers Legal?

    In most cases, yes. According to Workplace Fairness, a California-based non-profit focusing on employee rights, employers can legally monitor nearly everything an employee does at work as long as there is a legitimate business interest that doesn’t outweigh the privacy impacts on the employee.

    In the majority of cases, companies are allowed to use software to track how workplace technology is used. The data collected by these tools are used to protect the legitimate business interests of the employer. These interests include managing productivity, ensuring the security of networks and data, and tracking the performance of corporate assets.

    That said, CurrentWare has customers in over 50 countries, each with their own unique legal considerations. Legislation concerning employee privacy, data security, and other compliance needs will vary greatly depending on the relevant jurisdiction. As legislation is often incredibly complex and subject to change over time, the best practice is to consult directly with lawyers that specialize in your organization’s industry and jurisdiction.

    Employee monitoring laws also vary state-by-state. For example, according to the American Bar Association employers in Connecticut and Delaware are allowed to monitor employees so long as they give notice prior to monitoring their e-mail communications or internet access. For more information about employee monitoring laws in the US, see this article on workplace surveillance from WorkplaceFairness.org

    Although the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) does not specifically address employee monitoring, it does include requirements for providing notice about data collection. Individual member states are also permitted to enact their own requirements and limitations regarding workplace surveillance and employee privacy.

  4. Can Employers Monitor Their Remote Workers?

    Yes. Monitoring employees who work from home is a common practice among businesses that want to ensure the productivity and security of their remote workers. In the majority of cases, workers must be notified in advance that their technology usage will be tracked.

    The monitoring software used to manage remote workers will track a number of activities including internet browsing (social media browsing, search history, active/idle time), software usage, and bandwidth consumption.

    These tools are used to manage job productivity, ensure that each worker is following the company’s rules, and protect business assets against insider threats.
    Employees with concerns about being tracked while working from home should consult with their employer or a legal professional.

  5. Do Employers Have to Tell Employees They Are Being Monitored?

    It depends. While being transparent about employee monitoring is the recommended best practice, giving notice to employees is not always required.

    The majority of jurisdictions require each worker to be made aware of their employer’s intent to monitor. Some jurisdictions with greater rules and laws will further dictate that employees must be made explicitly aware of what data is captured, how it will be used (such as productivity management), and who will have access to it.

    As a best practice, you should consider all activity on employer-owned assets to be tracked. 

Conclusion

What is considered the best employee monitoring solution will depend on the needs of your company. Business owners have plenty of monitoring features to consider such as time tracking, insider threat detection, keystroke recording, stealth mode, GPS tracking, compatibility with a remote workforce, and internet tracking capabilities.

With the details provided in this list you will find several viable options for the best employee monitoring tools to improve productivity of remote employees, secure your company against insider threats, and ensure that employee performance is optimized. 

Looking for more security and productivity software? Check out this list of the best internet filtering solutions.


Improve Employee Productivity With BrowseReporter

“The employees find the reports to be an extremely helpful self-analysis tool, and use the reports to analyze and reconfigure priorities!”

Ready to get advanced insights into how your employees spend their time? Reach out to the CurrentWare team for a demo of BrowseReporter, CurrentWare’s employee and computer monitoring software.

Sai Kit Chu
Sai Kit Chu
Sai Kit Chu is a Product Manager with CurrentWare. He enjoys helping businesses improve their employee productivity & data loss prevention efforts through the deployment of the CurrentWare solutions.